I want to make a complaint, but before I do that, I should give the basis of my expertise. At school I played from the Also-rans, and when I was evacuated in 1939/40 I played for a village team on the village green. I could bat a bit, bowled off breaks with some success, but any success was primarily due to the poor quality of the pitch. I sometimes kept wicket, and on one occasion the ball hit my toe, shot straight up, hit me under the chin and caused me to bite my tongue, a unique experience. I always thought batting was best carried out by a comparatively short, stocky and strong men, rather than six-foot-plus willowy creatures as I was, although I did once, more by luck than judgement, score 50 plus. We certainly in those days, never flung ourselves about the village green, sliding on our stomachs after some uncatchable catch, we just stood for ages in the deep, bored out of our tiny minds because the opposition couldn’t hit the ball anywhere near the boundary.
Now for the complaint! I have been watching the Sri Lankan bowler, Malinga, and his chucking action, rather than bowling as everyone else does. It was in the last year or the year before, that there was a whole who-ha about his bowling, and ultimately it was agreed that his action was legal. I beg to differ. We are constantly being regaled by the latest teaching principles of bowling, which is so dependent on the shape of the body just before delivery, and even more importantly after delivery, so as to be legal and what is more important still, to reduce the possibility of damage to the bowler’s spine. The batsmen, who are facing balls travelling at 90 miles an hour do their best to see how the ball was held prior to, and leaving the hand, so they can interpret where and how it will land. Because of the speed with which the ball is hurled, the recognition of these facts is more a matter of instinct and practice, than careful examination, and so, if the bowler has an action which is totally different to everyone else in the game, that bowler has an unfair advantage, and it is no wonder that he has high dismissal records. I protest!